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Muslim man who stabbed French soldier faces terrorism charges

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Anti-terrorism judges on Friday charged a recent convert to Islam who stabbed a French soldier over the weekend with “attempted murder linked to a terrorist enterprise”.

The 22-year-old was arrested Wednesday after the stabbing of a soldier in a busy Paris commercial complex and transport hub of La Defense that came on the heels of the brutal murder of a soldier in London.

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The suspect, Alexandre D., appeared in court in the French capital and was charged by judges Thierry Fragnoli and Gilbert Thiel, a source close to the case said.

The man admitted after his arrest that he had attacked Private First Class Cedric Cordiez. Cordiez has since been discharged from hospital.

Video footage from the shopping centre showed him buying two knives an hour prior to the attack on Saturday, and praying eight minutes before the stabbing.

Paris prosecutor Xavier Molins has said there was a clear intention to kill. Molins said the suspect had shown an “impressive determination” to carry out the attack, stabbing the soldier “several times” in the neck with a fold-out knife.

Reports have emerged that Alexandre D. had attracted the attention of local police for his “behaviour” but this information was not shared with the intelligence services.

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This prompted French President Francois Hollande on Friday to urge better intelligence coordination.

“There has to be a better follow up of local information by the intelligence services,” he told the media networks France 24, RFI and TV5 Monde.

“The weakness was a piece of information which was not handled properly and it should be set right,” he said. “Every time that there is local information on an individual, it should be absolutely transmitted to the intelligence services.”

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There were also problems with information sharing among intelligence agencies in the case of Mohamed Merah, the Islamist gunman who killed seven people, including three soldiers, in and around the southwestern city of Toulouse last year.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls warned after the latest attack that there are “several dozen, perhaps several hundred, potential Merahs in our country,” adding that young French Muslims were being “radicalised” on the Internet and by extremist imams.

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2020 Election

Trump blasted as ‘pathological liar’ for claiming stock market is ‘starting to look very good’ after 1,000 point crash

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The COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic spreading across the world has present challenges for President Donald Trump.

In addition to the public health challenge facing the administration, Trump's 2020 reelection campaign is also faced with an economic crisis as the virus disrupts global supply chains.

"Investors around the world retreated from stocks and piled into haven assets including government bonds and gold, reflecting escalating worries that the coronavirus will disrupt the global economy," The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. "The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,000 points—its biggest point decline in more than two years; the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note approached a record low; and gold prices climbed for the eighth straight session to a seven-year high."

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2020 Election

Here are 11 of the most popular progressive policies for candidates to run on — and 5 of the least popular

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New polling from the progressive pollster Data for Progress, described in a new piece Monday at Vox, points the way forward for Democrats looking to oust President Donald Trump from the White House and enact a liberal policy agenda.

Progressives often argue that their plans are broadly popular with Americans, and that these ideas are only prevented from becoming reality because of an obstinate Republican Party weaponizing racism and misinformation, archaic political institutions that stymie significant efforts at reform, and corruption across the two parties that allows special and corporate interests to undermine the popular will. And there is a fair amount of truth in this idea — some progressive idea are remarkably popular, and there's no good reason they haven't been implemented yet.

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Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

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Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.

"Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors," said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Inter Milan themselves announced their Europa League match with Ludogorets on Thursday would be played with no fans present.

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